It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. This series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like (check out our 31 Day Blog Challenge for that!). What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
Once you've been blogging for a while, it's not unusual to look up from your screen one day and ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?"
What may have started out as a fun hobby, or a way to share your recipes with friends, or a much needed creative outlet has somehow morphed into a stressful rat race.
Now you're wondering how that other blogger got that slick email signup box. And wishing you could just crack that 50K (100K, 250K, 500K) users/month number. And thinking about how you can expand your prop budget and afford that new camera lens that would make your photos just that much better. And what about sponsored content? How come Blogger X got invited to that media event and you didn't? Are there enough long tail keywords in your latest post? Or how can you go on vacation when you don't have stockpiled content to trickle out to your readers? Plus it's already January 1st and you haven't even started creating your Valentine's Day content so people can start pinning it with lots of lead time ...
Those might be the signs that you've forgotten what drew you to food blogging in the first place and that maybe, just maybe, you're not digging it so much anymore.
Starting today and over the next three weeks, we'll be figuring out how to get back to that good place you were in when you first started on this blogging journey, while still taking advantage of all that you've learned and how you've grown since you first started.
Let's get started ...
Step 1: Stop and Step Back
Sit down somewhere away from your computer where you won't be interrupted. In fact, leave your computer, your phone and your tablet in another room and pick up a pen and a piece of paper. If you can, sit down in a location that you don't associate with blogging.
Think for a minute. Why did you start your blog? What made you get that WordPress or Blogspot account and write that first post and hit publish?
Write down the first thought that comes to your head in big block letters.
Put your pen down and read it over a few times.
Is that the reason you still blog?
If it is, and you're still cognizant of that every day and happy with that reason, then you're probably doing just fine.
If it isn't, that's ok. There's lots of reasons why that may no longer be your blogging purpose. We grow as people and our interests and motivations change over time. It could just be that you've outgrown your original reason for blogging and you're still very happy with what you're doing.
But if there's a part of you that's looking down at what you wrote on that piece of paper and feeling a tinge of unhappiness, we can help. Over the remaining 14 days we'll be putting out some prompts, tips and ideas to get you on track to falling back in love with your blog. But here are a few things we'd like to you do before you tune in for Day 2 tomorrow:
- Write down what you really dislike about blogging and keep that list handy for the next three weeks.
- Write down what you really love about blogging — keep that list handy too!
- Write down all the reasons you blog, not just why you started your blog.
- Commit to not looking at any traffic reports, analytics or earnings reports for at least a full week (unless you're under some type of contractual obligation to report those numbers in the next week).
Come back tomorrow and be ready to get started. We'll be covering different points each day, all designed to make you stop, rethink and reconnect with your blog in a positive way.
In the meantime, feel free to share your original reason for blogging in the comments and tell us about what you struggle with and what you really love about blogging. Discussion and feeling like you're not the only one can go a long way to feeling better about things!